LIVERMORE (KCBS) — A new report released this past week shows that veterans make up a disproportionate amount of the nation’s homeless population.

The study by the Department of Housing and Urban Development found that veterans are 50 percent more likely to become homeless than other Americans.

Additionally, more than 75,000 vets were homeless at least one night in 2009 and 136,000 indicated they had spent at least one night in a shelter that year.

“If someone is crying out for help, we need to be there for them,” said East Bay Congressman Jerry McNerney. “They’ve been there for us overseas. They’ve seen their friends killed in combat. We need to be there for them now.”

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

McNerney sits on the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs. He recently met with VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and said there’s a commitment to end veteran homelessness in five years, a daunting task but one that he said can be accomplished with hard work and innovative thinking.

“There has got to be people that care enough about our veterans, like the Sentinels of Freedom in San Ramon,” he said. “They help veterans that have lost limbs in combat. The country has to come together to help these folks.”

McNerney said he’s also working hard behind the scenes to save the VA hospital in Livermore, which is slated for closure.

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Comments (3)
  1. d says:

    okay but now is that correlation or causation. Are they more likely to be homeless BECAUSE they are vets? or is it actually because people who join the military tend to be of lower socio-economic means to begin with?

  2. ruthmary shauer says:

    can you plz give some links for information about local / East Bay housing and other assistance for VETS, especially woman vet?

  3. Mike Hill says:

    To Jerry McNerney and Mark Selig, not all vets have seen “Combat”. In fact, few see combat. Most vets perform identical jobs to what a person in a town would do … Clerical, Cook, Cleanup, Building Maintenance, Mechanic. I hope this is not the beginnings of a push to give “vets” more money in the name of “Serving” the country. We “All” serve the country by being good stewards. We’re all patriots, not just people who sign up for a job that happens to be in the military.